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Nevada Mining Tax Measure (2010)

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The Nevada Mining Tax Measure may appear on the November 2, 2010 state ballot in Nevada as an initiated constitutional amendment. The measure proposes remove the statutory deductions allowed to mining companies by current state law.[1]

Mining companies, according to reports, pay a higher property tax rate on the minerals they extract from the state, however, they are also allowed deductions for mining costs. Those deduction, initiative supporters argue, can severely reduce tax revenue to the state.[2]


The measure is supported by an advocacy group called Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN). In February 2010 the Nevada State Education Association began running a television ad campaign that calls for the public to support the proposed measure.[3]

Bob Fulkerson, PLAN executive director, said, "We have an enormous need in our budget. One industry is recording all-time profits, and that’s the mining industry. Yet it’s paying next to nothing to the general fund."[4]

Despite a decision by the Nevada Legislature to charge a new fee on mining claims, Fulkerson said the proposed amendment is still required. Fulkerson argues that the amendment will remove the industry's "sweetheart deal that's enshrined in the constitution."[3]


Mining lobbyist Jim Wadhams said, according to reports, the measure "is designed to shut mining down."[3]

Legal challenge

On March 19, 2010 the Nevada Mining Association asked a Carson City judge to block the proposed ballot initiative. Lawyers for the association argue that the initiative is unconstitutional and thus cannot appear on the ballot. The case was heard by District Judge James Wilson.[5]

Request for block denied by judge

Judge Wilson Jr. denied the block requested by the Nevada Mining Association but agreed that the initiative language should be reworded. The language, said the judge, should clarify that the recommended change could triple the proceeds tax on mines retroactively in 2008 from $92 million to $284 million. The change in wording requires that mining measure supporters refile the petition and start over on signature collection. However, the judge emphasized that according to the Nevada Supreme Court he cannot rule on the constitutionality of the measure because even if the measure does not appear to be constitutional, there may be a way to implement it in a constitutional form. Nevada Mining Association lawyers said they were "pleased" with the revisions and clarification of the initiative language.[6]

Petition language changed

Path to the ballot

See also: Nevada signature requirements

In order to qualify the measure for the November 2010 ballot supporters are required to collect a minimum of 97,002 valid signatures by May 17, 2010.

See also

External links